Stella Maris Builder Revealed as Start Set for $130m Rippleside Project

The start date for construction of a $130m luxury waterfront apartment project at Rippleside is looming as the lead building contractor is locked in.

Building work on a $130m landmark luxury Rippleside development is expected to start this month.
Ireland Brown Constructions has been appointed to lead construction of the Stella Maris project for property developer Monno.

Monno managing director Geno Hubay said demolition was complete on the Bay St site, leaving the 1848 St Helens mansion and landmark trees standing on the 1.2ha Corio Bay site.

Demolition crews razed several buildings, including a 1930s mansion wing, and a number of trees on the site.

Monno acquired the site from MacKillop Family Services. It was previously a Catholic convent, Stella Maris.

Mr Hubay said Ireland Brown had a proven track record including Quest Central Geelong and stages three and four at Balmoral Quay at Rippleside.

“Partnering with a builder with a strong local connection, that is focused on quality build outcomes and one that very much supports local trades and employment made it an easy decision for Monno to select Ireland Brown,” Mr Hubay said.

Around 150 new jobs would be created to deliver Stella Maris, he said.

Architect Rothelowman designed the Stella Maris project with 52 apartments and three townhouses in four contemporary buildings pinwheeled around the mansion.

A wellness centre will have a lap pool, gym, sauna and steam room, and a basement car park has car and dog wash facilities, plus EV charging.

Close to 60 per cent of apartments are pre-sold, netting around $60m in value, including off-the-plan apartment records at $4.295m, $4.495m and $5.495m, Mr Hubay said.

“We’ve had an incredible response with over 90 per cent of buyers being local downsizers looking for their forever home.

“The unparallel quality of the development in a location that will never be repeated has been the main reason Stella Maris has resonated with purchasers.

“We have seen a diverse mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom residences sold to date, which lends itself to creating a true community.”

McGrath Projects, Geelong director Jim Cross said the market had taken to the development, confident in the backing of the families of Robert Costa and Mr Hubay.

“Given the current market, that’s been a real pivotal point for people being comfortable buying the product off the plan, because they know they’re going to deliver a first class product,” Mr Cross said.

“The style and the quality of the project is next level for Geelong and there’s a lot of wide open space as the architects have paid homage to the site.

“We have had a good spread of the more affordable dwellings selling as well, which are really high quality spec and finish and the same look and feel, but are slightly smaller and at a more affordable entry level.”

Mr Hubay said Ireland Brown crews were due to be on site in the coming weeks, with piling

and excavation works of the basement to be complete in the first quarter of 2024, with the structure to start coming out of the ground by the second quarter of 2024.

The development is on track to be finished by late 2025, he said.

Monno has engaged Carr Architects to return the St Helens mansion as a freestanding house, set on its own 3000sq m property, with a two-storey contemporary addition creating an open-plan kitchen and living area and a first-floor main bedroom and ensuite.

The mansion will form part of an exclusive sales campaign to be announced early in the new year, Mr Hubay said.

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